Affirmative Action Yields Little Progress on Campus For Blacks and Hispanic,” read the lead piece in Friday’s New York Times (August 25). Just as readers began to gasp in disbelief that the Times would report on the failure and destructiveness of affirmative action, that gasp soon became a sigh (of relief from Leftists and of contempt from conservatives). Ah, readers, you did not really expect the Times to report on the adverse effects of affirmative action now did you?
From the opening paragraph:
Black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities than they were 35 years ago, despite decades of affirmative action efforts, according to an analysis by the New York Times.
The University of Georgia, incidentally, was among the universities mentioned in the Times’ analysis of black and Hispanic “underrepresentation” on campus (a fact which our friends over at the Athens-Banner Herald made a point to note). Well, exactly how bad is our minority “underrepresentation” problem here at UGA and across the country? The Times explains:
While more blacks and Hispanics are attending top schools, the increases have not kept up with overall population growth of those groups, widening the gap between students and the college-age population.
In other words, there are more minority students at American universities–including Ivy League schools–than ever before; but because the percentage of minorities at university is not exactly equal to their proportion of the population, the New York Times thought this statistic was worthy of the front page. The story is quite indicative of how the media and the Left generally view race and equality.
If a group’s population percentage does not match their percentage at university, in the workforce, in prison, etcetera, the Left automatically assumes there has been some injustice committed. As if mere differences indicate oppression. Can the Times, or anyone for that matter, point to a single institution, in a single society in human history, that has been comprised of various groups precisely proportional to their percentage of the entire population?
Is the fact that the American prison population is overwhelmingly male–as opposed to female–indicative of oppression of men? Are Asians “overrepresented” on university campuses because they suppress whites, blacks, and other groups? Only a facile mind thinks about equality in such puerile terms. And that appears to include the “Paper of Record.”
The bottom line is this: “analyses” such as the New York Times’ serve no purpose but to divert from the real issues that account for disparities in success between groups. Let us be real: The reason that more blacks and Hispanics are not going to college at the same rate as Asians, or even whites, is not because society hates blacks and Hispanics or because university admissions boards hate minorities (on the contrary, in fact, they are given points simply because of their skin color). The real reason is that blacks and Hispanics generally a) they have the highest out-of-wedlock birthrates in the country which has shown to lead to lower rates of college completion and b) most are forced to attend appallingly bad inner-city schools (areas which, incidentally, are run almost entirely by the Left).
These are simply facts. And they are much more relevant to black and Hispanic life than a New York Times’ “analysis” that has the profundity of a children’s book.
But attempts to discuss–let alone attempts to solve–problems like fatherless homes, cultural emphases, or flagrant Democratic failures in our inner-cities, are as certain as night follows day to be met with cries of “racism.”
The reason is simple: The New York Times and the mainstream media are much more interested in making themselves feel like moral giants than they are tackling the actual, root causes of some of these issues.
So as our inner-cities continue to become more murderous and nearly 8 out of 10 black children are born out of wedlock, and Democrats and teachers unions’ collude to consign poor minorities to the disgraceful education our inner-city school systems provide, what do we get from the New York Times? A front-page “story” about–wait for it– “underrepresentation” on college campuses. The state of the mainstream media is depressing to say the least.
All the best,
J. Thomas Perdue